Understanding the Differences Between Pilates and Yoga Including Nutrition

How Are Pilates And Yoga Different? Let’s Find Out

For quite a long time, Yoga and Pilates have been thrown into the same category. The classification is understandable since both are similar practices. On the flip side, however, they have some major differences that very few people know about. While they both emphasize on the body-breath connection and rely on low-impact movements on a special mat, they are totally different practices. Moreover, they are rooted in various histories. Read through this piece for some insight if you’ve been wondering what the difference between Yoga and Pilates is.

The Origin

One aspect in which Yoga and Pilates are different is the origin. Yoga is a practice that originated in Southern Asia close to a thousand years ago. Over time, it spread to many different locations and evolved with various cultures. In the modern day world, there are numerous types of yoga including but not limited to Kundalini, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, and Bikram.

On the other hand, Pilates is a practice that is named after its creator Joseph Pilates. When Joseph was a young child, he was a victim of numerous diseases that inhibited his mobility, so he created the Pilates exercise in the early 20th century for strengthening and rehabilitation. Joseph Pilates moved to New York from Europe after which he set up his own studio. High profile ballerinas and dancers got attracted to this exercise routine to build their flexibility, stamina, and strength.

What Should You Expect in a Class?

It is quite difficult to know what to expect in any yoga class because it depends several factors such as the class type, teacher, or studio. You should, however, be cautious of any class titled yoga since the exercises can vary from some sweaty, powerful workouts to less demanding , slow-paced relaxation exercises.  Some yoga practices such as Ashtanga and Bikram are more popular nowadays since they have a more familiar sequence of poses., slow-paced relaxation exercises.

Some yoga practices such as Ashtanga and Bikram are more consistent nowadays since they have a popular sequence of poses. On the other hand, poses like Vinyasa leave the sequence up to the creative freedom of the instructor with an endless number of variations and pose combinations.

Different from Yoga, Pilate classes are more consistent day to day. Generally, Pilates are performed while one is lying prone, supine or on the side. With Pilates, you can expect to perform low-impact muscular flexibility and strengthening exercises on a mat with little equipment. Additionally, there are various levels of Pilates, from beginner to advanced and similar to yoga, there exists no different methods of Pilates from the traditional Pilates routine. If you’re interested in finding a Pilates class near you, take a look at this website.)

The Goal

The different yoga poses available make for a good way to work your entire body. In this practice, every pose is usually accompanied by a counter pose to work the opposite muscle groups. Instructors will often base a class off a specific group of yoga poses, such as twists, arm balances, inversions, standing balances or backbends. Although props are not a necessity in yoga classes, some instructors use straps or blocks to help get the students in the desired poses.

Pilate exercises are normally based on the simple principle that every body movement originates from your core. These exercises are usually small, isolated body movements often repeated in sets. The goal of a Pilates class is to focus on strengthening the core and spinal alignment so as to have total control over your body movements.


Breath work in yoga exercises is commonly known as pranayama, and its fundamental goal is to nurture and control your energy. It is considered a source of life and energy that channels through the body. Yoga classes may rely on several techniques of pranayama. Some classes may encourage breath work throughout the entire session while others only devote a section of the class to do breath work.

In the case of Pilates, the individuals performing this exercise are always encouraged to be aware of their breath through the entire class – breathing in through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Contrary to yoga, there are no different techniques used in Pilates, nor are there specific sections of the class designated for breath work. In Pilate exercises, breathing is one of the principles of the Pilates method and is a constant and consistent effort.


When it comes to what you should eat when it comes to either your Pilates or Yoga workout, there really is no significant difference in what you should eat.  If you are looking to get fit and be more healthy, the type and amount of food you need to consume as part of that effort is the same whether you practice yoga or Pilates.


If you are not quite sure of which practice to choose between the two, then you should consider trying both of them. As a matter of fact, none is better than the other. What’s right for you is a rather individual choice that depends on your preferences, goals, likes/dislikes as well as your mood that day.